Growthpoint Properties has asked its shareholders to back a R250 million broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) ownership scheme that will aim to fund the corporate social investment (CSI) initiatives that Growthpoint supports.
The international property company is invested in real estate and communities in South Africa and across the African continent, Australia, UK and Eastern Europe. Growthpoint is 50% co-owner of the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, and the group is South Africa’s largest primary JSE-listed REIT.
The transaction will see Growthpoint allocate shares to a special-purpose CSI Trust, which will use dividends from its Growthpoint shares to fund future CSI initiatives focused on education, entrepreneurship and enterprise development.
These initiatives were actioned through Property Point, which delivers programmes that support growing small black businesses in the property sector and education projects such as Growsmart, which assists primary school pupils in the Western and Eastern Cape.
“The Growthpoint CSI Trust will become a valuable source of perpetual funding for our social impact projects. It will also enhance our B-BBEE credentials by helping to achieve our equity ownership targets in line with the Property Sector Code,” Shawn Theunissen, Growthpoint Properties Head of Transformation and Corporate Social Responsibility said yesterday.
Finalisation of the B-BBEE deal would see Growthpoint increase its broad-based elements of the Property Sector Charter scorecard for black ownership. Growthpoint is a Level 1 BEE contributor.
“The proposed transaction aligns with Growthpoint’s long-term vision of a more empowered South African society and economy in a way that continues to benefit the communities where we are invested, our employees and their families,” said Theunissen.
The group would hold an extraordinary general meeting on July 19 for shareholders to vote on the transaction, which includes entering into a loan agreement with the Growthpoint CSI Trust to enable it to acquire the R250m of Growthpoint ordinary shares, valued at a share price of R12.50 (less than 0.6% of the total Growthpoint ordinary shares in issue) together with their full voting rights and dividend entitlements on the same basis as all other Growthpoint ordinary shares.
The Growthpoint CSI Trust was structured to comply with both the B-BBEE Act and the requirements for a public benefit organisation. Besides shareholder approval, as a major B-BBEE transaction, the scheme also needs the green light from South Africa’s B-BBEE Commission.
“Our proposed B-BBEE deal shows Growthpoint’s commitment to providing space to thrive in environmentally sustainable buildings while improving individuals’ and communities’ social and material well-being,” Growthpoint CEO Estienne de Klerk said.
Growthpoint, apart from its CSI initiatives, is an established leader in commercial green developments and owns and manages the biggest portfolio of green-certified buildings in Africa.